5 Steps To Profiting From News Feeds

5 Steps To Profiting From News Feeds

Looking at News Feeds, you might think they're some of the most complex things to set up. Nothing could be further from the truth. They're actually super-easy to create once you have the system set up properly.

You can break down the news feed system into a fast, low-cost system that you can do once, or several times over.

First I'll answer a few of your questions about news feeds. Then I'll reveal the "secret" steps to setting up and profiting from a news feed.

Common Question #1: What is a news feed?
A news feed is an automatically updating list of the latest news on a particular subject. For instance, the news feed on my Web site is on the subject of small business marketing.

Common Question #2: Why do I need one?
Other than being a really cool thing to have on your Web site, News feeds are also really great traffic boosters. Not only do they make your Web site more attractive to the all-important Web crawlers that view what's on your site, but News feeds also inspire visitors to come back to your site for fresh news.

So the benefits are two-fold:

• new visitors, and
• return visitors.

Please keep in mind there are a few things you need to do to see benefits from news feeds.

1. Choose a subject of interest to your audience. I chose small business marketing news. For you, it could be the latest news on a tough problem gripping your industry. The great part about it is that you don't have to provide answers, just create a forum where your target market can access information about an issue.

2. Find your news feed. There are several services providing news feeds of various pieces of information. In my experience it's best to locate news aggregators based only on your industry.

3. Place the feed on your Web site. This is where I initially ran into problems, but a programmer friend passed on a rather affordable solution that I was able to easily place the news feed on your Web site. The great thing about it is, once you set up the feed, you never really have to touch it again.

4. Make your site profitable. Consider placing advertisements on the same page as your news feed. No doubt the regularly updating news will be a hit with your audience and as more people come to the site you'll be producing passive profits. (Say that five times fast!)

5. Drive traffic to your site. Over the years I've found the best way to drive traffic to a site is through article writing and distribution. It's like an instant shot in the arm for quality traffic.

And that's the "secret" formula to profiting from news feeds. Really, it's no secret. It's all about know which resources to use to make the news feed work for both you and your target audience.

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Auto Repair

How to Find Value in No Load Mutual Fund Investing

How to Find Value in No Load Mutual Fund Investing

What are you thinking when it comes to your no load mutual fund selections? Are you saving pennies and sacrificing dollars?
Are you spending your time looking at expense ratios, analyzing Morningstar ratings and searching for funds with low fees and no 12b1 charges? If you are like most people, you know these things in and out. You’ve spent hours evaluating them, and your chosen mutual funds cost little to purchase and maintain. But they still don’t perform to your hopes and expectations.
So, why is this happening? Because this kind of investing focuses on cost as opposed to value.
Investors with this philosophy have usually interviewed numerous advisors. But instead of trying to find someone suitable with a sensible approach, they only want to know who has the lowest fees. That’s like going to the cheapest auto repair shop and getting the best price, but your car still doesn’t run well.
Then there are the investors who call or email me wanting a recommendation on a no load mutual fund. They want one with no 12b1 charge, but they completely ignore the issue of how the fund might perform.
Both these kinds of investors spend their time trying to save pennies and in the process they are losing dollars. Instead of falling into the penny wise, dollar foolish trap, here are some ideas that will assist you in evaluating the end profit rather than just the short term saving.
1. Shift your focus from penny pinching to looking at the big picture: What can a mutual fund or an advisor do for you, not how much does it cost? Why? If you buy a given no load mutual fund at the right time and it gains a tidy 15% for you over a 6 week period, would you really care about the costs? If a mutual fund—or an advisor for that matter—can give you superior performance and an increase of several percentage points over your bargain price pick wouldn’t you pay an extra 0.25%?
2. Consider finding a fee-based investment advisor who uses a facts-based methodology and has a track record indicating those kinds of returns. For example, in my own practice I used a trend tracking approach to get my clients into the market on April 29, 2003. Plus, our research and homework led us to recommending funds that gained anywhere from 11.50% to 22.00% over the following 6 week period. How did you do during that time? Do you think any of my clients care whether one of these funds has a small 12b 1 charge? Or whether they have the lowest expense ratios in the industry? I know they don’t.
The bottom line is to look at costs as balanced by performance and that’s where you find value. Then seek true value not simple savings, enjoy healthy dollar-level returns and don’t sweat the pennies.

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Auto Repair

What To Look-Out For When Purchasing A Used Car

What To Look-Out For When Purchasing A Used Car

It is always wise and advisable to do a detailed inspection of any used vehicle or auto parts that you opt and plan to purchase, BEFORE executing the transaction and any money exchanges hands.

Advertisements and sales-talk about the car, that might have lured you in or grabbed your attention might be misleading, misrepresentation, even untrue. Some of the toted features and promised quality may not really present, even performance claims, enhancements or exaggerations are quite commonplace and pervasive in this market as well. You will be well-served to diligently be on the look-out for them.

Here are some examples of what to pay attention to in your pre-purchase vehicle or parts inspection:

I. Vehicle Exterior: do a walkabout and note the paint-job and detailing on the car

1 Look for scratch-marks and other dents.

2 If you are unable to detect any and/or suspect a new finish, ask when and why the car was painted.

3 Hiding rust and imperfections are quite common.

4 Check the bumpers and wheel wheels checking for dents, body filling and/or signs of rust or decay.

5 The underside might yield the most of this problem.

6 You might be able to infer from these aspects mentioned above, that if there are problems on the out or underside, they might also just be inside the vehicle as well.

II. Vehicle Angles, as well as the Vehicle Interior: check all angles of the vehicle, top to bottom, tip to tail, rear, front, sides and even underneath the vehicle.

1 Any inconsistencies or signs of major repair, could be cause for concern.

2 Try to cover all the details and detailing.

3 Look for outright and lingering sign of damages.

4 Stains, tears or exposure, even sun damage might be noticeable on the upholstery and interior of the vehicle as well.

5 Try and spot all these tell-tale signs prior to your purchase.

III. Vehicle engine: always remember that a clean engine does not necessarily mean that all is good and well.

1 Take a much closer look and notice all details that has to do with the functioning of the vehicle

2 Two obvious places to look, would include the exhaust manifold (check for rust here) and the ass well (check for oil leaks or residue here).

3 Checking the dipstick for oil is essential as well. Ensure that you feel no particles in it when rubbing your fingers against it. If present, it may be indicative of some related engine problems and even wear and tear, aging or breakdown over time.

4 Physically starting the engine, listening carefully to the revs and even taking it for a test drive is advisable as well.

5 Performance of the engine and the handling of the car are your tell-tale signs here.

6 Check all brakes and features thoroughly as well.

Categories
Auto Repair

Learn How To Repair Your Hard Drive Problems Fast

Learn How To Repair Your Hard Drive Problems Fast

Since computer users are human, the user can be the primary cause of computer failure. And we operators of our computers are in most cases but that, we operate the computer but know very little concerning software and hardware components and peripherals.

Since this is the case, you should ASSUME NOTHING when diagnosing any computer problem. We diagnosed a new PC with a video display problem. After briefly looking at the video card it took a while to see that the video card was not pushed into the adapter slot completely.

Even though I looked at the card, I failed to check it thoroughly. This cause me to spend more time on troubleshooting that was not needed.The thought of a hard drive failure strikes terror in the heart of every computer user.

This is because a hard drive failure may lead to invaluable data loss. Here are the most common procedures you should perform when you experience hard drive failure.

General Hard Drive Troubleshooting

The hard drive can display problems such as “retry, abort, ignore” or “cannot read sectors” while operating. This is an indication that there may be bad or unreadable spots on the drive. Reformatting and reinstalling the operating system can normally correct this problem. This will cause you to loose all data on your drive so it is important to always have a good backup of yourfiles daily.

There are good good utilities you can purchase that can repair hard drive problems without destroying data. The utility Spinrite is a good utility and only cost $200.00 which is a good price if you want to avoid the hassle of reformatting the drive and restoring the operating system. Here are some general hard drive problems you should start from and we’ll be more specific later.

Use Operating System Utilities

First you may be able to correct those bad spots and errors from your hard drive by performing those PC maintenance in the operating system. Windows has Disk Defragment and you should run disk defragment after running Scandisk since scandisk will need to fix any problems it finds. After scanning the drive and defraging the files, run Disk Cleanup to ensure all junk files have been delete.

Check Drive cables and connections

If there is on indication that the drive is receiving power (you don’t hear that familiar clicking noise or the drive light is no working) check the 4 wire connector coming from the power supply.

If the connection is secure, you can remove the power supply connector and do two things. You can check to see if there is voltage with a multimeter. But its much faster to connect another 4 wire connector to the drive to see if the drive works. There are normally extra connectors from the power supply or you can use the connection to the cdrom drive to test for voltage from the power supply.

If the connection indicates no or very little voltage (4 volts or less) from the power supply, the power supply may be going bad. Now check and double check all connections, especially if you are someone else have recently worked inside the computer.

If the drive will not boot up…?

Boot the computer with your bootable DOS disk. If you don’t have one made, STOP and make one NOW by clicking on Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add and Remove Programs and Startup Disk.

Try to access drive C: by typing DIR C: and press Enter. If you see the directories on drive C: try to make the drive bootable by typing sys a: c: and press Enter. The system files should be restored and the drive may be restored to boot on its own.

If this fails, you may have to reformat and partition the drive with the setup utility that came with your drive or computer.

If the Drive boots but hangs up at boot…?

Turn the computer off, open the system unit and disconnect the ribbon cable at the motherboard end. Turn on the PC AND You will get an error message that the drive is bad and in most cases will go into your BIOS. Change the hard drive type to AUTO and shut off the computer.

Reconnect the ribbon cable and see if the hard works properly. The drive settings should be restored and should operate fine.

A hard drive that fails to boot up may also have a bad controller. If the controller is mounted on the hard drive, there is not much you can do except replace the drive.

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Auto Repair

Delivering Great Customer Service – 10 Tips

Delivering Great Customer Service – 10 Tips

It almost goes without saying that good customer service is essential to sustaining any business. No matter how wonderful a job you do of attracting new customers, you won’t be profitable for long unless you have a solid customer retention strategy in place – and in action. It’s the actions that count – not what you say you’ll do, or what the policy says. People will remember what you or your employees have done – or not done.

One of the key components of an effective retention strategy is exceptional customer service. Not just good service, but memorable service. Today, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever and companies that fail to deliver, risk losing market share.

10 Tips for Delivering Good Customer Service.

1) Treat me like a somebody. It’s been years since that Midas muffler commercial aired, but the “I’m a somebody” phrase can still be heard from time to time. Why? Because regular customers expect (and deserve) to be remembered. As one woman summed it up, “You don’t need to remember my name, or what I order, but do acknowledge that I’ve been there before.”

One of the best examples I’ve ever seen of this is at my local coffee shop. One day I noticed that the young man behind the counter greeted some people by name and, even if he didn’t know their name, he knew what they usually ordered. As I waited for my tea (he’d already placed my ‘two milk on the side’ on the counter without me having said a word), I asked him why he said, “See you later” to some customers, “See you tomorrow” to others, yet always said, “Have a good week” to me. The smiling, friendly reply? “Because you only come in on Mondays and Fridays”. As I thanked him, I thought to myself, “Wow. He won’t be here long”. Unfortunately, I was right.

2) Be polite! Too frequently company representatives ask customers for file information without saying “Please” or even being polite. It is not acceptable for a service rep to simply bark out, “Account number?” And it is never acceptable for a service rep to insult a client.

Six weeks ago there was a problem with my home internet account – which is with a phone carrier I have used my entire life (and, as you know, this kind of loyalty to a phone company is almost unheard of these days). In all that time, I have never been late with a bill payment to them. There is a long and ugly story here, but the short version is that a) the problem was on their end and b) before they realized where things had gone wrong, their rep was extremely rude. When I asked him to please change the way in which he was addressing me, he snarled, “Well whadya expect? If you’d pay your bills on time you wouldn’t have this problem.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. In fact, if I’d just read this account (instead of being on the receiving end), I wouldn’t have believed the story. What’s worse is that although the company later apologized, their senior management seemed to feel that this was not an isolated incident.

A 2005 survey conducted by Schulich School of Business MBAs suggests that this kind of problem exists in over 30% of companies, and costs them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost customers (and revenues) each and every year. Don’t let your company end up one of these statistics.

3) Thank your customers – like you mean it. When your employees conclude a transaction, they should thank the customer with a smile and a sincere “thank you for … completed by whatever is appropriate for your business”. Too often, customers received a rushed and barely civil “Thanks-Have-a-nice-day-Next”. With large purchases, the verbal greeting should be followed up with a hand-written card – not just because it leads to increased referrals (which is does), but because it is the correct thing to do.

Oh, and by the way, the word “Sure” is no way to respond when a customer thanks you. To many people in many parts of the world, this is dismissive and suggests you don’t care. The correct phrase is “You’re welcome”.

4) Appearances do count! According got two independent pieces or research, nearly 90% of customers form an impression about how competent and reputable your company is based on what they see when they walk trough your doors.

Preserve me from auto-attendant hell. Customers are becoming increasingly annoyed and frustrated with having to sift through a multitude of options and press numerous buttons – only to be told that the desired service can only be obtained through the company’s website. Worse is when the auto-attendant uses voice recognition – but doesn’t ‘recognize’ your voice. People want to connect with human beings; they don’t want to listen to a long list of prompts. For hints on how to use auto-attendants effectively, please read “The top 5 new things people expect for good customer service” on our ReallyGreatInfo.com webiste.

5) Do what you say you will… when you say you will. The expression “Under promise, over deliver” may have become somewhat hackneyed through over use, but is still germane. One of the quickest ways to lose customer confidence is to not follow-through, or to be late delivering a service or product, without notifying the customer in advance, determining whether or not the delay will impact the customer and providing an alternate solution in the interim if necessary.

One of the best examples I ever experienced of a company doing it well happened with Toyota. There was a problem with my RAV4 and Toyota couldn’t repair it easily. I was driving a loaner, but had planned to go camping with my kids. It was our summer holiday and it had been planned for months. When Toyota couldn’t repair my vehicle in time, they rented an SUV for us to use – without me having to ask. I have since purchased another vehicle from this dealership and recommended it to 6 others who have purchased from them. Coincidence? I think not.

6) Surprise the customer from the time to time. When it is possible to provide an extra level of service, do so. Whether it’s an unexpected complimentary dessert in a restaurant, or an upgrade that has not been requested, these special gestures go a long way towards engendering customer loyalty and to winning you new customers. It has long been known that on average, a dissatisfied customer will tell 10 – 16 others, but people who have had an unexpectedly good experience also recount their stories.

7) Provide “full” service. When Successories sends out its framed prints, it includes the hooks and a small levelling device. There’s a remote control toy vendor near me who includes the batteries. “My” gas station dispenses free coffee with gas on weekday mornings. A drive-through drycleaner in northern Ontario opens early and hands you the morning paper with your order. Small things, yes. Greatly appreciated? No question.

I spoke to each of my local retailers and learned that in each case, their sales – and profits – have enjoyed double digits increases since they introduced more comprehensive service. Think about what you can add to help make things easier for your customers. In some cases, by looking at what else it makes sense to sell, you can even add a new revenue stream while improving the perceived level of customer service provided.

8) Mea Culpa. When you have made a mistake, admit it and set things straight. When customers have a complaint – listen, truly listen. Then apologize and take corrective action. In many instances, the very act of listening (without interrupting) can be enough to diffuse the situation and make the person feel worthy as a customer. Then ask the customer how they would like you to resolve the situation. In most instances, your client will come up with something reasonable – and often less costly than a solution you might have proposed.

9) Listen to your customers. Conduct your own surveys and get feedback on what they like and don’t like – and take corrective action as required. Let customers know that their business is appreciated and that their opinions are important to you.

None of these suggestions takes a lot of time or money to implement, yet they can pay dividends in increased customer satisfaction and retention. The key, though, is to ensuring that employees understand the importance of their front-line role and get good training and supervision.

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Auto Repair

Buying A Car With A Personal Contract Purchase Loan

Buying A Car With A Personal Contract Purchase Loan

If you are looking to buy a car but are unsure whether or not a new car is worthwhile, then you should consider the benefits of buying a car with a personal contract purchase loan. Using a personal contract purchase loan can reduce the amount of depreciation you suffer, and help you to get the car you want. Here is some more information about buying a car with a personal contract purchase loan.

What is a PCP?

A PCP, or personal contract purchase loan, is a personal contract for private individuals. It allows you to set a contract term with monthly payments for your new car. At the end of the term you can either purchase the vehicle fully or give it back to the contact provider.

Costs of a PCP

The costs of a PCP depend on the car you are buying, and how much deposit you can afford to put down. It also depends on the length of the contract, as well as other factors like maintenance requirements. However, the length of the agreement will usually last from 24-42 months, during which time you pay a monthly cost as a ‘rental’ of the vehicle.

Guaranteed future value

One advantage of a PCP is that you will get a minimum guaranteed future value agreed, so that you know how much you will have to pay at the end of the loan term to buy the car outright. You can either pay the guaranteed value and own the car, hand it back without any payments, or use the guaranteed value towards another new car.

Cheaper than many other methods

Apart from flexibility, the main advantage of a PCP is that you have fixed monthly payments that are likely to be lower than other forms of auto finance. Also, if you get a PCP with maintenance included you will not have to worry about large repair costs like you might with a used car. Also, depreciation is lower because you have a guaranteed future value.

Losing the car

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of a PCP is that during the contract term you do not actually own the car. You are simply leasing it from the provider, so if you should fail to make the payments the car can be taken away from you. Before taking out a PCP, make sure you can afford the repayments so that you will be able to keep the car you want.

Cheaper than a loan

Although PCP means you don’t own the car during the contract term, it is much cheaper than a loan for financing a car. Even if you get a very low rate, you will pay back more and the depreciation will be higher. If you are looking to buy a car and you don’t want to pay outright, then go for a PCP.

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Auto Repair

Car Dealer – The Safety Measures And Benefits

Car Dealer – The Safety Measures And Benefits

Car dealers sell new cars and used cars. They offer maintenance services for the cars that they sell, sell spare parts and process warranty claims. The car dealers who sell used cars usually have cars from various manufacturers. The new car dealerships are usually franchises associated with one or two manufacturers. There are also places where dealership is merged. Thus a single owner controls a chain of dealerships from various manufacturers.

Almost all the car dealers offer financial services like loans and lease. In order to avail the car loan, it is necessary to know your credit score. Scan your credit report carefully before purchasing a car. The credit score helps you to understand the mount of interest that you will have to pay. Before visiting the car dealer, it is best for you to line up used car auto loan financing.

When you visit a car dealer know specifically the actual cost of the car that you are going to buy. Find out from the car dealer the actual amount that will be allowed for trade-in, and the details of finance contract. Never sign a contract before going through it carefully. Do not allow the car dealers to pressurize you into buying a car. If you feel uncomfortable with any part of the financing part, move out for a better option elsewhere.

The car dealers, by providing maintenance and repair services, bring the customers back to the showrooms to view new models. Since the internet offers opportunities to increase the profit potential, many car dealers have come up with online marketing services. You no longer need to visit from place to place to buy your car. With the help of online services, you can buy, sell new or used cars, interact with the car dealers, and schedule a service for the maintenance of the car.

The car dealer ensures that every car they sell meets their quality and safety standards. All the new and used cars are checked by a team of mechanics, and quality control managers. There are car dealers who ensure that you are fully confident with the controls of the new model before your drive out of the show room.

Online information his helped to boom the service of car dealers. People can now select from a wide range of new and used cars just by clicking a button, sitting in a comfortable atmosphere of their home. The online car dealers provide you with detailed information on each and every type of cars that they sell. You will get all the information you require on the color, model, accessories, size, and price of the car. This helps you in judging your budget and selecting one that will suit you and your pocket. You can even get the detailed direction of the car dealership from your home.

Categories
Auto Repair

Heater Core Problems: Cold Snap Solutions!

Heater Core Problems: Cold Snap Solutions!

Doesn’t it figure, that the very first time you have a problem with your car’s heater core is when you need it the most: in the middle of a horrible cold snap. Frost on the outside and frost on the inside — giving new meaning to air conditioned discomfort. Cranking up the heat means billows of cold air filling your car’s cabin instead of the soothing and relaxing heat you should be feeling…ugh! Sounds like a job for your mechanic, but it may be something you can repair yourself. Please read on for more information.

Playing with the heat settings does no good and a check of the coolant, hoses, and connections reveals that everything is okay. So, what is the problem? More than likely your Ford heater core has died. You jump in your car and head directly over to your Ford dealer to get a price on a new heater core. Within moments you are gasping for air as the man behind the counter looks over his computerized inventory and quotes an outrageously high price for a new heater core. For a moment you don’t know whether to whack the guy over the head or start driving around with a portable heater you plug into your car’s cigarette lighter. Quickly you dismiss either option and decide to take matters into your own hands.

Fortunately a heater core isn’t all that difficult to change yourself. For most cars, a heater core can be reached by pulling out the dash or checking under the hood adjacent to the firewall, locating the unit, yanking it out, and replacing it with a new one. Naturally, you will pay gobs of money through your dealer’s parts department, but you have other options besides visiting the dealer or making a futile trip to your local junkyard: shop the internet.

That’s right, online auto parts wholesalers carry Jeep heater cores and heater cores for just about any make/model of car out there. Best yet, when shopping with a wholesaler like the Heater Core Experts, you can save big bucks. By purchasing direct from the manufacturer, a first class wholesaler will turn around and sell a heater core to you for less. A lot less than what Mr. Parts Dealer would charge and without you having to pay for labor costs either.

Yes, you could always ignore the problem and hope that Spring comes early and stays forever, or you can sell your first born child and head over to your dealer’s part department and hope they have mercy on you…they most certainly will not! Better yet, shop online for an OEM replacement heater core that meets or exceeds manufacturer specifications, save big, and get warm!

Categories
Auto Repair

Heater Core Problems

Heater Core Problems

Doesn’t it figure, that the very first time you have a problem with your car’s heater core is when you need it the most: in the middle of a horrible cold snap. Frost on the outside and frost on the inside — giving new meaning to air conditioned discomfort. Cranking up the heat means billows of cold air filling your car’s cabin instead of the soothing and relaxing heat you should be feeling…ugh! Sounds like a job for your mechanic, but it may be something you can repair yourself. Please read on for more information.
Playing with the heat settings does no good and a check of the coolant, hoses, and connections reveals that everything is okay. So, what is the problem? More than likely your Ford heater core has died. You jump in your car and head directly over to your Ford dealer to get a price on a new heater core. Within moments you are gasping for air as the man behind the counter looks over his computerized inventory and quotes an outrageously high price for a new heater core. For a moment you don’t know whether to whack the guy over the head or start driving around with a portable heater you plug into your car’s cigarette lighter. Quickly you dismiss either option and decide to take matters into your own hands.
Fortunately a heater core isn’t all that difficult to change yourself. For most cars, a heater core can be reached by pulling out the dash or checking under the hood adjacent to the firewall, locating the unit, yanking it out, and replacing it with a new one. Naturally, you will pay gobs of money through your dealer’s parts department, but you have other options besides visiting the dealer or making a futile trip to your local junkyard: shop the internet.
That’s right, online auto parts wholesalers carry Jeep heater cores and heater cores for just about any make/model of car out there. Best yet, when shopping with a wholesaler like the Heater Core Experts, you can save big bucks. By purchasing direct from the manufacturer, a first class wholesaler will turn around and sell a heater core to you for less. A lot less than what Mr. Parts Dealer would charge and without you having to pay for labor costs either.
Yes, you could always ignore the problem and hope that Spring comes early and stays forever, or you can sell your first born child and head over to your dealer’s part department and hope they have mercy on you…they most certainly will not! Better yet, shop online for an OEM replacement heater core that meets or exceeds manufacturer specifications, save big, and get warm!

Categories
Auto Repair

Mortgage Refinancing Below 500 FICO

Mortgage Refinancing Below 500 FICO

If you have been turned down for a mortgage refinance, especially a cash out or debt consolidation refinance, because your lender says your credit score is under 500, there are a variety of new options and strategies available which can help you get the cash you need now to pay off your credit card debts, collection accounts, and other derogatory or poor credit accounts and improve your FICO credit score to the point where you can qualify for a low interest, fixed rate loan.

First, you may be wondering why the number 500 is such a big deal. A FICO credit score is a number from 300 to 850 which is meant to represent your reliability as a borrower, and takes into account how much credit has been extended to you, how much money you owe and whether or not you pay it on time. Banks like to tell us that 99% of people in the US have credit scores of 500 or higher, and use this as an excuse not to even bother lending to people with credit scores under the magic 500 FICO score. As far as they’re concerned, since only 1% of the population has a FICO below 500, they simply don’t have the time to design programs to help these people buy or refinance homes.

We’ve worked with dozens of people who have come to us with FICO scores below 500 over the years, and every one of them says the same thing. “I just need help right now, and everyone I talk to keeps saying NO”. This is because until very recently, it was extremely difficult to get a loan if your credit score was 499 or less, and even today, only a few mortgage lenders, whether they’re banks or brokers, have the time or attention required to focus on the needs of what they think are a few unfortunate people. So until very recently, if your credit score was under 500, the only chance you had at refinancing or obtaining a home loan was if you went to a “hard money” lender.

If you’ve ever come across these individuals, you might not have been able to tell the difference between hard money or private mortgage lenders and a loan shark, and while that comparison is not entirely fair, it is to a certain extent accurate. Hard money lenders are small investors who lend only against the “hard” equity in your home, generally not more than 60% or 70% of the property value, the loans are generally short term, very high interest rate (12% to 15% or more), command huge upfront fees and closing costs, often up to 10% of the loan amount, and rarely if ever do they report your timely payments to your credit bureaus, making it harder to improve your credit. Why would anyone borrow money from a lender like this? In the past and even today, banks and other mortgage lenders have said no to sub 500 credit score mortgages or home loan refinances, and sometimes you just need the money that badly.

Many people have touted the benefits of credit repair services to prospective borrowers with scores under 500. The proposal often reads like this, first, give them a thousand dollars out of your pocket to fix your credit, which they will accomplish in six months, and then once your scores are over 500, they get a loan done for you. Of course never mind that $1,000 is a lot of money for most people with 700 credit scores, and very often a heck of a lot for an individual seeking a mortgage / refinance to consolidate debts. Add to that the fact that conventional credit repair takes too long for most people to wait without the extra cash to pay off bills that you get with a refinance, and you can see that credit repair by itself is not a very efficient proposition if what you really need is a refinance loan today. That’s not to say credit repair doesn’t work, it’s just that it doesn’t work very well for most people who are under 500 FICO seeking a debt consolidation, refinance or home purchase loan.

Over the years we’ve taken a harder look at the numbers, and it turns out that the banks and credit reporting agencies may have drastically underestimated the number of people in this country whose credit ratings are actually under 500 FICO. There are literally millions of people nationwide who fit into this category, and we have spoken with our share. What do we know? That most people with credit scores below 500 are hardworking, honest people whose credit is suffering from the realities of living and working in America today. As tight as our budgets are stretched in this country today, it only takes a very short term disability or unemployment to severely damage our credit scores. And some of us might have gotten in a little over our heads when we were younger, but in the years since we’ve been trying to get back on the road to good credit, and we’re sick of getting charged sky high interest rates every time we get a new credit card, apply for a car loan, or get denied for a bank loan and wind up calling on the aforementioned hard money / private mortgage lenders. We knew the banks had missed something. Our friends below 500 were not only more numerous than they had previously estimated, they were also more than some credit score, they were good people.

So we developed a strategy which we are sharing in the hopes that other borrowers under 500 can reap some of the benefits that our own clients have. We’ve helped borrowers with no money in the bank, $50,000 of bad debt, and sky high monthly payments driving them into the poor house get out of debt, get some money in their pockets and eventually achieve major financial improvement in a very short amount of time.

And how does it work? First, there are a few major, institutional lenders which have programs that allow us to arrange and refinance real mortgage loans at competitive interest rates for borrowers with credit scores under 500. These are real, federally and state regulated lenders, not private investor groups who will take your last dollar and send you on your way. Ask your mortgage broker about these programs, and if he doesn’t know what you’re talking about, get a new broker.

The typical strategy is a credit improvement strategy, where the goal is to take enough cash out of your home to pay off as many of your past due, high interest, or high payment debts as possible. We recommend taking a little extra cash from closing if possible, or to use some of the savings from your lower overall payments so that you can enter stage two of the strategy, which is third party credit repair. A good quality credit repair agency should cost less than 300 dollars overall and can clean up your credit and remove a lot of delinquencies and other items which are negatively impacting your credit. Combined with all the truly harmful items which you’ve paid off with your debt consolidation refinance, you should be able to improve your credit score by 50, 100 points or even more. I have seen a client go from a 485 FICO and $65K in combined credit card and auto loan debt and a total monthly payment of over $2800 to a 610 credit score and a payment of $1900 per month in less than 4 months. How did that payment get so low? Once their credit score went over 600, we were able to qualify them for a new mortgage at a low interest rate, because now our friends had “good credit”, and paid off the few remaining debts which they had by consolidating through refinance. Before the process, their average interest rate across all debts including home, cards and cars was nearly 22%, and afterwards, the average rate was under 9%.

We hope you find this information useful in reshaping your own financial future, and hope that you tune in for the next in this series of articles.

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Auto Repair

Safety When You Drive During Your Vacation

Safety When You Drive During Your Vacation

When you rent a car, choose a type that is commonly available locally. Where possible, ask that markings that identify it as a rental car be removed. Make certain it is in good repair. If available, choose a car with universal door locks and power windows, features that give the driver better control of access. An air conditioner, when available, is also a safety feature, allowing you to drive with windows closed. Thieves can and do snatch purses through open windows of moving cars.

Keep car doors locked at all times. Wear seat belts.

As much as possible, avoid driving at night.

Don’t leave valuables in the car. If you must carry things with you, keep them out of sight locked in the trunk, and then take them with you when you leave the car.

Don’t park your car on the street overnight. If the hotel or municipality does not have a parking garage or other secure area, select a well-lit area.

Never pick up hitchhikers.

Don’t get out of the car if there are suspicious looking individuals nearby. Drive away.

Patterns of Crime Against Motorists
In many places frequented by tourists, including areas of southern Europe, victimization of motorists has been refined to an art. Where it is a problem, U.S. embassies are aware of it and consular officers try to work with local authorities to warn the public about the dangers. In some locations, these efforts at public awareness have paid off, reducing the frequency of incidents. You may also wish to ask your rental car agency for advice on avoiding robbery while visiting tourist destinations

Carjackers and thieves operate at gas stations, parking lots, in city traffic and along the highway. Be suspicious of anyone who hails you or tries to get your attention when you are in or near your car.

Criminals use ingenious ploys. They may pose as good Samaritans, offering help for tires that they claim are flat or that they have made flat. Or they may flag down a motorist, ask for assistance, and then steal the rescuer’s luggage or car. Usually they work in groups, one person carrying on the pretense while the others rob you.

Other criminals get your attention with abuse, either trying to drive you off the road, or causing an “accident” by rear-ending you.

In some urban areas, thieves don’t waste time on ploys, they simply smash car windows at traffic lights, grab your valuables or your car and get away. In cities around the world, “defensive driving” has come to mean more than avoiding auto accidents; it means keeping an eye out for potentially criminal pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders.

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Carpet Cleaning

Stains Making Your Rooms Look Dreary? These Carpet Cleaning Tips Could Help

TIP! Before you select a carpet cleaning company, do some comparison shopping. Customer reviews are a great way to find out the good, bad and the ugly of each prospective carpet cleaning company you are considering hiring.

Think about it – if your carpet is dirty it isn’t a happy home! Keeping your home deep-cleaned and fresh isn’t always simple; hiring a pro makes things simpler for your life. You should read this article for some useful tips that will help you find a reliable carpet cleaner.

TIP! You can always ask a carpet cleaning company to test a small area of your carpet before they clean the whole thing. This is very important to do because there are acids in some cleaners that may damage a rug permanently.

It is easier to vacuum a floor if you do it in sections. This will ensure that you don’t go over the same area twice. If your room is square, make the room into four quadrants for more efficient cleaning.

TIP! Make sure you are fully comfortable with any company you hire. You should be satisfied with all parts of the process, from the first meeting, to the end of the job.

Don’t just choose the first carpet cleaning company you consider, but check out several different cleaners first. Comprehensive research can end up saving you a lot of money. Check with the Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau to help you avoid getting involved with a business that has a bad reputation.

TIP! When your cleaning professional arrives, be sure to inform them of any electrical sockets embedded in your flooring. They don’t want to clean with these in the way, since serious harm can be done.

Harsh chemicals and big machines are not needed to clean every type of carpet. Test a small section of the carpet before using anything on the entire floor. For example, if your carpet is wool or silk, harsh commercial cleaning processes can ruin it. If you’re not sure about cleaning carpets on your own, call a professional in.

TIP! Hiring a professional is the best way to get rid of tough stains. Many times professionals can remove stubborn stains from wax and even wine.

Even if furniture moving is offered free by the company, move any valuable yourself before they get there. Never entrust your valuable items to someone else unless you absolutely have to, even with a promise that they will be cared for.

TIP! You can check with the chamber of commerce or yellow pages for a good list of the available companies. They know the local companies and if there are complaints against it.

If you plan to hire a professional cleaner, you should first read the warranty conditions for your carpet. Many carpets are pre-treated and you don’t want to have another type applied that can void your warranty. You could wind up paying a lot of money as a result of this issue.

TIP! Up-selling is common with carpet cleaning businesses. This means you may be quoted a cheap price, but they will try to offer you added services for an additional price.

When your carpets are deeply cleaned, your entire house looks better. We hope that this article has given you just the advice you need to find a great carpet cleaner for your home. Once you find that you are happy with a carpet cleaning company, do not forget to tell people that you know!

Categories
Auto Repair

Home Based Business: Your Ticket To Ultimate Freedom

Home Based Business: Your Ticket To Ultimate Freedom

Due to the hardships brought on by our country’s current economic situation, many people are looking to a Home-Based Business as a means of income. Job loss due to downsizing or other reasons, is motivating people to find alternate ways of supporting themselves and their families. A successful home-based business can afford you a comfortable lifestyle in regard to both working environment and monetary reward.

If you have decided you would like to start a home-based business, there are several issues that need to be thought-out and realized in terms of legality. You must consider the legal issues as well as your local zoning regulations, in addition to any restrictions on the use of your property for business purposes. Municipal policies determine what types of businesses can be run from your home. These regulations vary by city, so you will want to do some research in this area. You can look up the regulations for your town by visiting the local zoning board or law library. You will also need to talk to an accountant or read information from the IRS on the issues of tax deductions regarding home businesses.

Another consideration is that many home-based businesses require state licenses for things like child care, auto repair and private investigation. After you have researched your town’s regulations on home businesses, be sure to contact your local government office and ask about what agency, if any, regulates your planned business and what you need to do to obtain a license.

Avoid a costly mistake and look into obtaining business insurance. Your home-owners policy may not provide enough coverage especially for things like equipment damage and even client injury if you will be conducting meetings in your home.

Once you’ve got all of those issues satisfied, you should be thinking about the internal workings of your business. Staying organized requires a good deal of effort for some people, but it benefits you greatly in the long run. If you will be receiving and sending large amounts of mail and/or packages, it might be better to set up an external mail service. Then designate an area of your home to be used for sorting and also preparing out-going mail. You don’t want to cover up your workspace with papers and boxes which may become misplaced and disorganized. A separate email account used solely for your business is another way to ensure consistent communication with your customers. Customer service is what will make or break your business so it is wise to stay on top of things within your devised system to ensure satisfaction and ultimately bring in repeat business.

Categories
Carpet Cleaning

Advice For Cleaning Your Dirty Carpet

TIP! During vacuuming, divide the floor into sections to make vacuuming easier. This allows you to concentrate on areas more carefully without repeatedly going over the same spots.

If your home has lots of carpeting, you surely realize how filthy they can sometimes be. If this happens, you will need to find a good carpet cleaning company. However, choosing a good carpet cleaner can be time-consuming. You’ll find the answers in this article.

TIP! Before you select a carpet cleaning company, do some comparison shopping. Research each company online and find customer reviews.

Think about what a carpet cleaning business’s reputation is prior to paying them to work on your carpets. There are a lot of companies out there, and some are more experienced and dependable than others. Ask your family and friends if they can provide a reference, and make sure to also check reviews online to get information. This will help you find a good company to clean your carpets.

TIP! Heat is something that can cause a carpet to deteriorate. Heat can ruin carpets that are delicate.

During vacuuming, divide the floor into sections to make vacuuming easier. You can compare the areas you have already vacuumed with those you have not. If your room is square, for example, separate the room into four quadrants when you clean.

It’s essential that you shop around. Do proper research and read reviews. The BBB is a great resource for finding out about different companies, both good and bad.

TIP! Carpet companies usually do more than just clean carpets. It’s is especially smart to ask them about their upholstery cleaning service.

Often times, carpet cleaning companies specialize in other services such as grout, porches and patios. Most companies offer an upholstery cleaning service for the furniture in your home. You may find someone who is offering a deal on their cleaning services.

TIP! Get in touch with your area’s chamber of commerce in order to generate a list of local carpet-cleaning businesses. In addition to company names, you can also find complaints for each company in the list.

You can always ask a carpet cleaning company to test a small area of your carpet before they clean the whole thing. Many acidic chemicals have the potential to cause unsightly damage. Taking this necessary precaution can save your carpet.

TIP! Ask the cleaning company if they do background checks on their employees. You don’t need criminals coming into your house at any time.

As mentioned earlier, you know how dirty your carpet can get at home. However, how to look for a carpet cleaning specialist may be not be something you already know. In this article, we have discussed the most important considerations. Take the tips given and apply them to your life to find a great carpet cleaner.

Categories
Auto Repair

Get Married and Have Fun for the Rest of Your Life

Get Married and Have Fun for the Rest of Your Life

How often do do your married friends complain about husbands who spend weekends on the couch watching games? Did they not notice these guys were sports fanatics while they were dating? Did they think things would change after the wedding?
As one guy told me, “In my experience, husbands and wives don’t enjoy the same things.” It doesn’t have to be that way. My husband of 13 years and I enjoy many of the same things, and we have a blast together.
Life is fraught with ups and downs, so it’s critical to marry someone you can have fun with, today and fifty years from now. Here’s how you can find that person:
1. Write down a list of the things you like to do. Then do them. I have a theory that if all the singles who claim to enjoy long walks on the beach actually took long walks on the beach, they’d meet, get married, and the personal ad industry would collapse.
If you like to read, hang out in a bookstore. If the bookstore has a cafe, become a regular there. If you like beer and bands, grab a friend and get to know the faces at a neighborhood bar (take a cab; no drinking and driving, please).
Do what you like to do.
This technique worked for a good friend of mine. After discovering that his longtime girlfriend had been cheating on him, he left her. Then he gave himself time to mourn and moved on.
He had two hobbies, cooking and hiking. He enrolled in a cooking class and joined a hiking club, in the hopes of widening his social circle. After the cooking class ended, he invited his classmates to a party at his house and encouraged them to bring friends. Guess who showed up? A fun, attractive (and faithful!) woman who enjoys entertaining and good food as much as he does. They’ve been married three years now.
2. Write down a list of things you’d like to do but haven’t gotten around to yet. Would you like to build a bookcase? Check out the list of classes at your local Home Depot. Want to learn how to fix your transmission? Take an auto repair course. Women are bound to meet men there. If you’re bent on improving your money management skills, take a finance course. You’ll likely meet smart, upwardly mobile people.
The key to attracting a husband who you can have fun with 10, 25, and 50 years from now is to do the things that make you happy today.
Then see who shows up.

Categories
Carpet Cleaning

Here Are Some Handy Carpet Cleaning Tips.

TIP! You should always check out the reputation of a company prior to hiring them. There are many companies available and some are better qualified and reliable than others.

Nobody likes cleaning their own carpets, and the end result isn’t always that great. Why not make things easier on yourself by hiring a professional to do the job? The following piece will provide you with tips to help you find the right professional.

TIP! It is important to compare different carpet cleaning companies before deciding on one. Comprehensive research can end up saving you a lot of money.

Don’t use excessive heat when cleaning carpets. If the temperature is too hot, you can damage your carpet and negatively affect patterns and colors. This is especially true during stain removal.

TIP! When you clean your carpet, don’t use an excess of heat. Make sure that the person you choose is not using too much heat on the carpet.

If a carpet cleaning company contacts you by phone or advertises per room prices, beware. Keep in mind that not all rooms are the same size. The price should reflect total area or square footage of the rooms that are cleaned.

TIP! Check out the customer testimonials for the companies you are considering in your local area. There are companies out there who claim excellent customer service, when in reality it is anything but excellent.

Make sure you are fully comfortable with any company you hire. From just asking about what they can do for you, to getting the job done, you need to be content with what they give you. Good companies are genuinely concerned about the happiness and satisfaction of their customers.

TIP! Have a carpet cleaning company clean any new carpets in your home immediately. When carpets are displayed, they have chemicals that make them look appealing in the store.

Ensure the carpet-cleaning company you hire has an actual, physical address. You want to have recourse if the company doesn’t do a good job, and an office address provides that. Companies with only an email to correspond with can be frustrating and get you nowhere.

Electrical Sockets

TIP! The company you choose to hire should make you feel comfortable. The best way to get quality service is to find a carpet cleaner who has a good reputation and takes the time to figure out what kind of service you need.

If your flooring includes electrical sockets, make the carpet cleaner aware of this. If they aren’t aware of electrical sockets, this can be a huge danger. In addition to harming the cleaner and his equipment, it can also damage your home.

TIP! If someone wants to be a professional carpet cleaner, they need to have certification from the IICRC. This is a well-known certification used in many different areas across the country.

If you aren’t used to cleaning carpets, it’s an arduous chore that leaves you stiff and sore. Your carpets will look as good as new if you let a professional carpet cleaning service take care of them. It will save you a lot of time and effort. Take the tips you have learned here and get the best cleaning company for your money.